PTDF is one of the safest work places in Nigeria” – Executive Secretary, PTDF

 The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has concluded its 2018 Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) week with a resolve by the Management and staff of the Fund to not only develop a positive safety work culture, but also to make PTDF Tower one of the safest workplaces in Nigeria.

The HSE week is an annual event by PTDF to enlighten and educate members of staff on HSE issues, and to create and sustain awareness on matters of health and safety of staff.

The 2018 PTDF Health and Safety week with the theme “Making a Difference: Building a Safe and healthy Environment” featured a road walk and exercises by members of staff, HSE enlightment lectures, health talks, medical check-ups as well as a fire evacuation drill. The talks and drills were conducted by resource persons from the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Federal Road Safety Corps, Federal Fire Service, Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, and health Instructors.

The event underscored the significance of health, safety and environment(HSE) in the oil and gas industry because of the hazards associated with the exploration of oil and gas resources, and the conduct of other oil and gas businesses in the upstream, mid and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. PTDF places priority on Health, Safety and Environmental issues in the implementation of its capacity building mandate in the oil and gas industry.

PTDF HSE officer, Mr Munir Sirajo Zubair in his address explained the significance of the annual event which he said is to sensitize members of staff on the need to observe safety best practices both in the office and at home. Safety and health, he said are treasured requirement of social engagement as no one can actively engage the society and work place without them.

As we all know, our safety and our health are the most important attributes that we treasure. Without your health or safety, you will not be able to come to work or carry out your daily activities. The theme for this year’s HSE Week is making a Difference: Building a safe and healthy environment. It commenced with a health walk which was attended by a lot of us here and we really had fun and I urge other members of staff that couldn’t make it to ensure that next year they should try as much as possible to be part of the fun and the benefits we got from the walk”.

The lead lecture entitled “Making a Difference: Building a Safe and healthy Environment: Developing positive safety Culture” was presented by Mr. Julius E. Okoh, the Branch Chairman, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON). Mr Okoh emphasized the need for PTDF to strive and maintain an excellent HSE culture where every staff is safe, describing excellent Safety Culture as an integral component of a modern, dynamic and productivity oriented organisation.

He said, HSE reflects in the attitude, beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation to safety in the workplace. Safety culture he said is a part of organizational culture, and has been described by the phrase “the way we do things around here”. Workplace related disasters result from a breakdown in an organization’s policies and procedures that were established to deal with safety and this he said is as a result of inadequate attention being paid to safety issues.

He advised PTDF Management to entrench HSE culture in its systems and processes to enhance the brand value and goodwill for PTDF, reduce business costs and disruptions, reduce absenteeism, decrease employees claim on insurance and increasing PTDF’s ability to win and retain business customers.

For you to make a difference, you must have a culture of doing things to promote work safely. How do you create that safety culture? The safety culture is created when the workers are involved both at the management and lower cadre levels to bring about safety consciousness. The Fund should also institute a reward system for diligence to safety in the work place. This will encourage staff to report hazards and safety breaches that need to be corrected. They will feel that they are part of the system because management recognizes them and they will do more”.

Dr Chinedu Simeon Aruah, an Epidemiologist and Senior Research Fellow and Consultant Radiation and Clinical Oncologist, National Hospital Abuja delivered a lecture on “Emerging Trend in Cancer Epidemic in Nigeria: The Need for Increased Surveillance” while Dr. Alfred Irowa’s lecture on “The Dentition: An important but usually neglected part of the body” focused on the need for proper dental care.

Mr Simeon Nwaubani in his lecture on “First Aid at work” emphasized the need for first aid training among staff to enable them have knowledge of how to handle work place accidents before they are taken to the hospital for proper medical attention.

There is possibility of accident happening and when the accident happens you are supposed to know what to do so that you can give first aid before taking the person to hospital. We lose a lot of lives because first aid are not administered and first aid is very important. It is important for PTDF to select staff from different departments who will be trained to handle emergency situations. A lot of people have died because of this and I would like PTDF to actually get some of the staff trained on first aid”.

Mr Simeon Nwaubani said that with PTDF having a big office building and fairly large number of staff, there is a necessity for a sickbay where people can go for treatment of minor accidents somebody can just go into fainting or semi consciousness and for you to do anything that person needs a place like the sickbay other than the office”.

Mr Olusheyi Oduye from the Policy Regulatory and Inspectorate Department of the Federal Fire Service who supervised an evacuation drill said the exercise is to practically educate staff on what to know and do during emergency situations requiring evacuation from office building. These includes the rules and regulations to be followed during evacuation procedure in the work place and home.

“There is need to take a very precautious approach in the work place. You should know that when you are leaving your office you are supposed to switch off your electrical appliances, and generally speaking, you are supposed to know how to apply some of these devices that you have in this organisation like the fire protection equipment, like the fire extinguisher, the alarm generally. When the alarm sounds, how do you react to it, what are the things you need to do, you don’t need to go back when you hear unusual sound. You are supposed to leave whatever you are doing irrespective of who you are. You just have to leave whatever you are doing in your office; you move out to the muster point so that head count can be conducted”.

Basic health checks were conducted for staff of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) by the Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria. This to discover and advise staff on health issues they need to pay attention to, and to offer useful tips on what they need to do to maintain a safe and healthy life styles.

The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau who was represented by the General Manager, Legal and Secretariat Service of the Fund, Mr. Balarabe Ahmed while declaring the HSE WEEK open expressed gratitude to the Executive Secretary for approving the exercise which he said is of tremendous benefit to the management and staff of the Fund.

He said that, the event is in line with the Fund’s HSE Policy and commitment to conducting its activities in a manner that promotes the health and safety of its employees, assets and the public as well as the environment. He said the Fund is determined to make PTDF Tower as one of the safest workplaces in Nigeria.